Published: 2017-11-15 12:07
Last Updated: 2017-11-15 15:45
Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Wednesday called the alleged detention of Prime Minister Saad Hariri a “breach of human rights”, saying that Riyadh has conducted an act of aggression against Lebanon.
"Nothing justifies the failure of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to return for 12 days, therefore we consider him to be held and detained, contrary to the Vienna Convention," Aoun stated on the Twitter account of the Lebanese presidency, adding that he cannot accept resignation submitted from abroad.
الرئيس عون: لا شيء يبرر عدم عودة الرئيس الحريري بعد مضي ١٢ يوماً. وعليه نعتبره محتجزا وموقوفا، ما يخالف اتفاقية فيينا وشرعة حقوق الانسان— Lebanese Presidency (@LBpresidency) November 15, 2017
Aoun’s statement comes a day after Hariri announced on Twitter that he would return to Lebanon in the next two days, after he had pledged to resign officially.
However, President Aoun has refused to accept the resignation, calling on Saudi authorities to clarify the reasons preventing Prime Minister Hariri from returning to Lebanon.
On Tuesday, Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has said that Prime Minister Saad Hariri can only prove his freedom by returning home.
During a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in France on Tuesday, Bassil remarked: “We hope to resolve this with the quick and immediate return of Prime Minister Hariri to his country ... where he has the right to do what he wants," said Bassil.
This comes after Hariri surprisingly resigned in a television broadcast from Saudi Arabia, attacking Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran and its ally Hezbollah in a televised address.
He said that his life was in danger and accused Iran of meddling in the region, causing "devastation and chaos."